Learning to cast - getting better at it.

Learning to cast - getting better at it.

Viking Lars | Saturday, 27 November 2021

Learning to cast is a necessity if you want to become a fly fisher - that’s obvious. How you choose to learn to cast is a personal choice. Some are fine getting on with it by themselves, some use YouTube, some use the internet, some read books (I think I know all 6 of them :-) and some choose to get instruction for a friend, a club or a qualified instructor (and some have friends that are qualified instructors). I clearly recommend the latter, because maybe the hardest part of learning and getting better, is seeing one’s own mistakes. A qualified instructor will expose the subtleties that cause problems quickly and will have methods to both practice them away and maybe even correct them in a few minutes.

“I don’t need to become a better caster, because I catch plenty of fish.” I’ve heard that statement in casting clinics and demos several times, and when I was younger, I usually navigated around it as diplomatically as I could. Now I simply ask why the person is here then. None the less, if happy with one’s abilities, then there is no reason to improve and I’ve fished with plenty of people, who don’t cast as well as I do (and I’m not an oracle) and they still out-catch me, so there’s a reason to that argument.

Many readers here practice casting and I believe that the wish to practice and improve might even be the reason why many readers found their way here in the first place. If this front page is the first you’re reading, hurry up and register on the Board. There’s a hoard of qualified instructors and some people very knowledgeable in physics, who discuss the physics of an unrolling line.

Many, including myself, practice simply to get better - sometimes in arbitrary disciplines and sometimes with a specific purpose. No one really needs, as such, to be able to cast 140’ of 5-wt line (and I’ve never done that), but being able to cast, just once in a while, a certain distance makes it so much easier to cast 20’ shorter.

And distance isn’t everything. There are places in the World where you need specific skills to fish effectively. One such place, out of many, is River Mörrum in southern Sweden. It’s a wonderful, wild (especially on lower stretches) river where you really need a certain level of skill in spey casting to fish. There are plans where you can use an overhead cast, but in most, several different spey casts are needed to fish the river. And on a more practical level, you also need to be experienced in wading fishing many of the stretches.

The river runs mostly through forests and through a small town, where you will catch people on a stroll if you can’t spey cast. It’s an amazing river and really a challenge to fish. The reward in late April and May is magnificent, deep, strong chrome salmon, probably more often lost than landed, straight from the Baltic Sea.

I love fishing the Mörrum and before every trip, I make sure to spend several hours practicing my spey casts before I go, because most trips are 3-5 days, and I don’t want to spend the first day getting up to speed. The Danish special forces have a saying - The 7 Ps. Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

Today’s PoD is from an opening day some years ago and I believe it’s from Pool 8. As you can see, you need a spey cast to cover the different parts of the pool. I’m also using a wading staff. The water is a brown tone, the current is heavy and there are big boulders.


Have a great day!